Why is Loudermilk embellishing his military record?
June 19, 2014 11:02 PM | 6012 views | 3 3 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Although I’m a retired military member who served two tours in Vietnam as an Army aviator, I have never been one to think less of a man who did not serve in combat ... or even in the military service.

What puzzles me is why some who have not served in combat, or have served in less “glamorous” positions in the military, tend to embellish their service.

I recently heard 11th District congressional candidate Barry Loudermilk speak to the Cobb Republican Party breakfast. After carefully listening to his speech, I left thinking he spent eight years in the Air Force as a pilot and intelligence officer from 1984 until 1992. There was also a mention of “Desert Storm,” but the context was unclear.

I went to his website for further clarification and to see what aircraft he flew. His bio had a photo of him in an Air Force flight suit, sitting in the cockpit of a small aircraft, and another in the uniform of an Air Force enlisted man. I read his bio, which stated he served as a communications operations specialist in Texas, Hawaii and Alaska.

I found it difficult to believe that I would misinterpret his presentation of his military service, or that he would intentionally misrepresent it, that much ... as he mentioned being a pilot several times. (I’ve since discovered he obtained a civilian private pilot’s license in 2008).

If I had any doubts of Mr. Loudermilk’s intent to mislead his audience, his performance in Saturday evening’s congressional debate at Kennesaw State University put the doubts out of my mind!

The following were some of his remarks:

“And one of the most important issues is going to be Dobbins (Air Reserve Base), and I’ll commit to you as someone who knows the importance of national defense, I’ve lived in that arena, I worked in that arena, and as an aviator, as a pilot, I know the value and the importance that our aerospace and our airpower has. We must do everything in our ability to keep Dobbins operating and open.” …

“When I was in the Air Force, I was in a course that we were discussing aerospace engineering and flight physics and I remember the professor was talking about the bumblebee and at the time, aerospace engineers couldn’t figure out how a bumblebee could fly.” (Why does an enlisted, communications operations specialist study aerospace engineering and flight physics? And Herman Cain tells this same story about himself but it’s set in a physics class often and was even told on his radio show the week before the debate.) ...

“I bring the experience and the knowledge of not just a state legislator but I know intently from being in the Department of the Defense and working in aerospace as well as working in the United States Air Force how important it is, and I will bring that knowledge to the table.” …

“Folks, Putin has taken out of mothballs the Bear H bombers that we intercepted when I was in the Air Force in Alaska.” …

“I can’t answer that question right now, because unlike when I was in the military, I was in intelligence and we had that information.”

In my opinion, anyone witnessing that debate would assume, from his carefully misleading statements, that he was an Air Force pilot with the skills needed to address issues of operations of Dobbins, and the intelligence experience needed to address the present foreign policy issues in Washington.

This conduct leads me to believe that if a person feels it’s necessary to mislead the voters about his actual resume, he must feel unqualified for the job.

Perhaps he knows something we don’t — but that we should. I thank him for his service — but the embellishment of that service does not earn him my trust!

Bill Stanley

Cobb County

Editor’s note: Stanley served two tours as an Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam and later worked as a police officer in Detroit. Prior to the recent primary, he served as Veterans’ Coalition chairman for 11th District candidate Tricia Pridemore of Marietta.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Ken Cook
June 20, 2014
"he served as Veterans' Coalition chairman for 11th District candidate Tricia Pridemore of Marietta" Of course the writer is going to paint it even more than it is; he's on a different team (even though Tricia is out).

Did you see any lies in there? Or just insunuations... Barry is a pilot. He did serve in the Air Force. His son is currently serving in the National Guard. He speaks a lot about veterans issues and did so well before the fallout in DC.
Bill Stanley
June 21, 2014
No. I didn't see any lies...just insinuations!

I didn't say he was stupid!
PVT Ground Pounder
June 20, 2014
Not to denigrate Loudermilk's service, but the side-by-side photos of him on his web site are misleading, and any veteran will be quick to see the attempt to mislead, even if it is subtle.

Loudermilk was an Air Force enlisted communicator, which is a honorable job. He was NOT an Air Force pilot, which is the subtle hint of the two photos. If he was an enlisted air crewman, he should have made that absolutely clear.

Most important, why did he serve only eight years on active duty, then get out? There is no mention of him staying affiliated with a reserve component. By leaving active duty when he was almost at the half way point of a military career does not add up. My experience tells me there is always an important reason when someone separates and throws away eight years of active duty, and you can bet this applies to Loudermilk. Has he ever been questioned about this?

He makes no mention of his military pay grade, when he left active duty at the eight year point? Why?

Oh, and for you civilians, the Civil Air Patrol is not military service.

He mentions all sorts of awards and commendations, so why does he not specifically name what he earned? Again, veterans will be quick to see what is going on here.

Had I been his military adviser, I would have advised him not to talk about his military service like a politician would, because veterans are going to see right through his baloney. He should have stuck to his branch of service, one accurate photo in uniform, maybe his rank, and specifically name any decorations worth mentioning, and no more. He has made the mistake of raising too many questions.

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